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Governor's health plan is a 'placebo'

January 10, 2007

Re "Gov. offers bold prescription," Jan. 9

It is interesting that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is not talking about providing healthcare to every Californian, but instead about forcing every Californian to buy health insurance (with state assistance if necessary). In the Business section of the same edition, The Times reported that this will most likely lead to insurers raising their rates. What a shock. I'm glad to know their profit margins are not going to suffer.

It is amazing how there is a wrong solution to every problem. This particular solution is a blend of the worst features of socialism and capitalism. It comes down to forcing us by law to buy an inferior product without impeding the profiteering that makes it such, and is incompatible with the concept of insurance as a way to share risk. Californians are being offered on a silver platter to be picked clean by the interests that have bought our government.

MICHAEL DRESSEL

Los Angeles

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Schwarzenegger's plan is well intentioned, but it is a placebo that does nothing to resolve the despair most people feel over the exhaustion of the old order of healthcare and the absence of any new one. It is disappointing because it uses politics and economics to resolve what is actually an issue about the change in an institution preserved in our capitalistic society. Many people today are frustrated by the sense that the healthcare system is controlled by selfish business interests. But these same people never allow a government mandate controlled by politicians who cower to their political bases and bureaucracies.

The true sickness is that our society continues to expect government to take care of people's needs and responsibilities. To cure the ills of the healthcare system, reform must filter up from the people who actually use it.

LEE H. IGEL

New York

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The governor was right when he said that the people who have insurance pay for the uninsured, but he was wrong to refer to those who have insurance as "fortunate." Many of us have to make a lot of sacrifices to buy insurance, which doesn't come from good luck and fortune. If the governor truly understands us, he should push for reform to monitor doctors' fees for patients. Putting a stop to egregious fees would lighten the burden on those who struggle to have insurance.

MICHELE VINCENT

Yorba Linda

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The outcry over including children of illegal immigrants in healthcare reform is unreasonable. If you want undocumented people out of the United States, find a way to remove them. Trying to scare them out by denying basic needs (especially to children) is inhumane and irrational. Everyone gets sick eventually, and the public picks up the tab for those who can't pay, regardless of their immigration status.

JACOB DAVID

Los Angeles

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